Genetic variants associated with post-traumatic stress symptoms in patients with gynecologic cancer

Andrea M Johnson, Deanna Teoh, Patricia Jewett, Burcu F. Darst, Jordan N Mattson, Cody M Hoffmann, Katherine Brown, Aditi Makaram, Ciana Keller, Anne H. Blaes, Susan A. Everson-Rose, Rachel I Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Patients with cancer experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) more commonly than the general population. The objective of this study was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in patients with gynecologic cancer. Methods: A prospective cohort study recruited 181 gynecologic cancer survivors receiving care at the University of Minnesota between 2017 and 2020 who completed PTSD DSM-V surveys to self-report their symptoms of PTSD and provided saliva samples. DNA samples were genotyped for 11 SNPs in 9 genes involved in dopaminergic, serotonergic, and opioidergic systems previously associated with risk of PTSD in populations without cancer. Results: Most participants had either ovarian (42.5%) or endometrial (46.4%) cancer; fewer had cervical (7.7%) or vaginal/vulvar (3.3%) cancer. Two SNPS were identified as statistically significantly associated with higher PTSD scores: rs622337 in HTR2A and rs510769 in OPRM1. Conclusions: Genetic variation likely plays a role in development of PTSD. HTR2A is involved in the serotonin pathway, and OPRM1 is involved in the opioid receptor pathway. This information can be used by oncologic providers to identify patients at greater risk of developing PTSD and may facilitate referral to appropriate consultants and resources early in their treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health ( P30 CA77598 , UL1TR002494 ), a University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid Award and the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota . RIV is supported by a Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program Ovarian Cancer Academy Early Career Investigator Award ( OC180392 W81XWH-19-1-0013 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


  • Cancer distress
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Gynecologic cancer
  • PTSD

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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